Department of Social Policy
London School of Economics
and Political Science
London WC2A 2AE
Information about this author at RePEc
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|June 2017||Survey Under-Coverage of Top Incomes and Estimation of Inequality: What is the Role of the UK’s SPI Adjustment?|
with Richard V. Burkhauser, Nicolas Hérault, Roger Wilkins: w23539
Survey under-coverage of top incomes leads to bias in survey-based estimates of overall income inequality. Using income tax record data in combination with survey data is a potential approach to address the problem; we consider here the UK’s pioneering ‘SPI adjustment’ method that implements this idea. Since 1992, the principal income distribution series (reported annually in Households Below Average Income) has been based on household survey data in which the incomes of a small number of ‘very rich’ individuals are adjusted using information from ‘very rich’ individuals in personal income tax return data. We explain what the procedure involves, reveal the extent to which it addresses survey under-coverage of top incomes, and show how it affects estimates of overall income inequality. More...
|February 2016||What has Been Happening to UK Income Inequality Since the Mid-1990s? Answers from Reconciled and Combined Household Survey and Tax Return Data|
with Richard V. Burkhauser, Nicolas Hérault, Roger Wilkins: w21991
Estimates of UK income inequality trends differ substantially according to whether estimates are based on household survey data (used for official statistics) or tax return data (used in the top incomes literature). We reconcile differences in variable definitions and combine survey and tax return data in order to take advantage of the much better coverage of top incomes in the latter, and provide improved estimates of UK inequality trends since the mid-1990s. We show there was a marked increase in income inequality in the early 2000s that survey-based estimates do not reveal, and our conclusions are robust to changes in the definitions of income, income-sharing unit, and summary inequality measure. In addition, our reconciled and combined data provide more comparable estimates of UK-US in...
|September 2009||Recent Trends in Top Income Shares in the USA: Reconciling Estimates from March CPS and IRS Tax Return Data|
with Richard V. Burkhauser, Shuaizhang Feng, Jeff Larrimore: w15320
Although the vast majority of US research on trends in the inequality of family income is based on public-use March Current Population Survey (CPS) data, a new wave of research based on Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tax return data reports substantially higher levels of inequality and faster growing trends. We show that these apparently inconsistent estimates can largely be reconciled once one uses internal CPS data (which better captures the top of the income distribution than public-use CPS data) and defines the income distribution in the same way. Using internal CPS data for 1967-2006, we closely match the IRS data-based estimates of top income shares reported by Piketty and Saez (2003), with the exception of the share of the top 1 percent of the distribution during 1993-2000. Our resu...
Published: Burkhauser, Richard V., Shuaiz hang Feng, Stephen Jenkins and Jeff Larrimore. “Recent Trends in Top Income Shares in the USA: Reconciling Estimates from March CPS and IRS Tax Return Data.” Review of Economics and Statistics , 94 (2) (May): 371 - 388.
|August 2008||Estimating Trends in US Income Inequality Using the Current Population Survey: The Importance of Controlling for Censoring|
with Richard V. Burkhauser, Shuaizhang Feng, Jeff Larrimore: w14247
Using internal and public use March Current Population Survey (CPS) data, we analyze trends in US income inequality (1975-2004). We find that the upward trend in income inequality prior to 1993 significantly slowed thereafter once we control for top coding in the public use data and censoring in the internal data. Because both series do not capture trends at the very top of the income distribution, we use a multiple imputation approach in which values for censored observations are imputed using draws from a Generalized Beta distribution of the Second Kind (GB2) fitted to internal data. Doing so, we find income inequality trends similar to those derived from unadjusted internal data. Our trend results are generally robust to the choice of inequality index, whether Gini coefficient or other ...
Published: Richard Burkhauser & Shuaizhang Feng & Stephen Jenkins & Jeff Larrimore, 2011. "Estimating trends in US income inequality using the Current Population Survey: the importance of controlling for censoring," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 393-415, September. citation courtesy of